Three people were taken to hospital with broken bones and
shock following an incident at this year's City of Portsmouth
Heavy Horse Event. The event, which has been held at Southsea
for 23 years always attracts large crowds, but in all that time
has had a spotless safety record.
Unfortunately this year proved the exception. During the prize
giving parade a shire horse broke away from it's handler and
careered through a safety barrier and scattering the crowd of
spectators at the side of the ring.
Two people suffered broken ankles and a pregnant woman had to
be treated for shock after she was knocked from her chair by
the rampaging mare.
The horse was being handled in the ring by a woman in her early
20s, who suffered a broken ankle after being dragged several
feet across the grass as she tried to stop the horse from bolting.
An eyewitness Alan East who lives in Southsea said,
"You could see the horse didn't look happy as it was being
paraded around, it was kicking out. Then it careered off round
the field and suddenly crashed through a fence and it was away."
"People were screaming as they saw it coming. There were
lots of children running around and it was lucky it didn't hit
any of them."
"People were very shocked. Three people were on the ground.
It was very lucky more people were not hurt, it is a big animal."
The show was managed by Portsmouth Leisure Community Association
on behalf of Portsmouth City Council and both organisations now
intend to carry out a comprehensive review into the incident
in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive.
Councillor Terry Hall, Portsmouth City Council's Executive Member
for Culture and Leisure, said: "The horse show has been
running for 23 years and this is the first time we have had an
incident like that."